Instant Rationalization – The drama of the AL Central is here to stay after Tigers take the opener

The White Sox had a chance to extend their first place lead to four games, which would have have been their biggest lead of the season.  Detroit has not been a kind place for the Sox as of late, losing eight of their previous nine in the Motor City.  The Sox definitely had their chances to score, but it was Detroit who dealt the striking blow in the seventh inning, when Delmon Young hit a bases-clearing triple with the game tied at four off of Matt Thornton.

Jake Peavy pitched a sub-par game, giving up six runs and six innings, and struggling with his control all night.  Peavy walked four and gave up nine hits in just six innings and also allowed Detroit to score in two of the innings that the Sox scored in the top half.

Peavy couldn’t handle Miguel Cabrera, who noticeably looked hurt, at the plate, as Cabrera went three for four, including a two-run homer to left in the first inning.  The Sox battled back to tie the game at four in the sixth inning, before Detroit took the lead for good in the seventh inning.

Key Performers

Miguel Cabrera – 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – Cabrera’s two-run homer in the first began the game’s scoring.

Delmon Young – 2-3, 3 RBI, 1 BB – Young’s bases loaded triple in the seventh inning gave the Tigers the lead for good.

A.J. Pierzynski – 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI – Pierzynski’s homer in the second inning put the Sox on the scoreboard.

Turning Point

When Jake Peavy came out to start the seventh inning, it was clear he just didn’t have anything left in the tank.  After giving up the dreaded leadoff walk to Andy Dirks, Cabrera crushed a single and the night was over for Peavy.  Thornton came in and things only got worse after he hit Price Fielder before Young hit the game-winning triple.

Things Would Be Different If…

…the Sox hit better (or collected even one hit) with runners in scoring position.  The Sox were 0-12 with runners in scoring position, including 0-3 from cleanup hitter Paul Konerko.  The Tigers, on the other hand, were 3-10 with runners in scoring position, which turned out to be the difference in the game.  The Sox must be more clutch tomorrow, especially before they have to face Justin Verlander on Sunday.

Takeaway

The drama of the A.L. Central wouldn’t have gone away with a Sox win, but a four game lead would have been the largest of the season for the White Sox.  The Sox still have to face Verlander on Sunday, so tomorrow’s game all the sudden takes on a great importance if the Sox don’t want to get swept.  The Sox need to snap out of their Detroit woes, because if the want to be the best in A.L. Central, they have to beat the Tigers.

Overall Record: 72-59, 2 games up on Detroit

Filed under: Game Wraps

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